Betty Duffy

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Growing pains

It's par for the course this time of year, that the Midwest is experiencing "weather." It's neither Winter, nor Spring, yet sometimes it's both in the course of a single day. Temps in the 70s were pushed out by the tornados this weekend, and yesterday we woke up to snow. You can't count on anything, during these growing pains. The weather is your pubescent teenager, your second year of marriage, the first glint of alzheimer's in your aging parent.

As I drove the kids to school this morning, and the sun's out again, it threatens to be Spring more than Winter from here on out. I can't help feeling hopeful.

The book shipped this weekend, THE book, the much anticipated book to which I had the honor of contributing, the book that looks at different aspects of being a Catholic woman in the 21st century through the prism of experience provided by ten very different women. I brought the box of books in from my doorstep, ripped it open and read it, starting with my chapter, and from there, cover to cover.

With my own chapter, I felt a bit of disappointment. Even my mom said, "It contained more restraint than I usually associate with your writing." And I thought, "That's no good. It's the sex chapter. It's supposed to break through the membrane of silence that surrounds the sex lives of Catholic women."

The other chapters were fantastic. I closed the book, excited about my prospects as a Catholic woman, fired up, ready to go write a screenplay about my life with a Rocky soundtrack. And I had the pleasure of seeing what my editor could see all along, how my narrative fit into this book as a whole.

What I see in the book as a whole, is the onset of a season of hope.

Earlier in the winter, we had the shake-up with the HHS mandate. Everyone in the secular media kept pointing to the fact that even Catholics are not Catholic. Catholics co-habitate. Catholics use birth control. Catholic women work, and they want contraceptive coverage. All of which are true statements.

We live in what many have termed a post-Christian world. The age of the Cradle Catholic just might be over.

But that also means we're working on similar ground as the earliest Christian converts. People are tired of the gender war, and the culture war, and the war within the self when the soul isn't satisfied with complete bodily liberation. There are so many opportunities in this age for Saul to fall off his horse, for the scales to fall from the eyes. We're all converts now.

We live in a time of Divine Mercy and conversion. Few of us have a spotless sexual track record, or have always been certain of our identity as Christian women. Few of us have always had confidence in our motherhood, have always known how to pray, or have always nurtured our marriages and friendships.

I think the book shows that there is another way to live; a new life can take root in the wake of failure and disappointment. And this can happen whether we were baptized as infants, or claimed our faith in adulthood.

So, while "take off your clothes," is very good advice indeed for the beginner looking to accomplish intercourse with their husband, I hope you won't be reading the sex chapter with the hopes of adding a plethora of sex tips to your arsenal. Like all the chapters in the book, the sex chapter is about bringing every area of your life into the light. It's about being balanced in favor of the authentically Catholic. It's about shaking up previously held notions, enduring the growing pains, and beginning fresh.

It really is a great book. I can't wait for you to read it.

Visit the OSV catalog and use this link for free shipping:


Diapeepees said...

Liked this post. Well written. I just found your blog the other day, tho I've been acquainted with most of the other writers (via blog) for a little while. Funny what your mom said -- mothers know us, are so insightful. I like your frankness in this post, tho. If you're going to be at the conference, I'll see you there...

Cari said...

This message of hope is exactly what I needed to hear after a miserable 15 minutes skimming the articles on ThePulp.It.


My copy is due to ship on Friday. Forever away.

Marie (twoways) said...

I've been away for a while and didn't know this was on its way. Looks amazing, so happy to see it's coming out soon.

Pentimento said...

Dude, your book is sold out on Amazon. Which is bad for me but amazing for you and your colleagues. Congratulations!

MrsDarwin said...

I'm looking forward to picking up my copy at the conference and snagging a few autographs in the process. Congrats to all the authors on the well-deserved success!

Kimberlie said...

My copy arrives on Thursday!!! Now I am going to have to turn directly to the chapter on Sex. I am sure it's not bad even if you were more restrained than usual. You have to be in a book. A blog is personal. You can write whatever you want. It's yours. Still I am sure there are some really great insights in your chapter. Just like this post.

Our Sunday Visitor said...

Congratulations on the book! We wanted to let you and your readers know we have FREE shipping on the book for a short time. Visit the OSV catalog and use this link:
to order. Thanks everyone!

Sally Thomas said...


Lauren said...

Excellent post. I am looking forward to pay day so I can order a copy of this book. It sounds very interesting!

Karly said...

Congratulations on what I am sure will be the first of many books. We may not see eye to eye on a lot of things (for instance, I agree many people may be tired of the gender/culture wars and yet personally I believe that the current conflicts and controversies will help move our country forward towards more justice for women- which is my ultimate goal as a committed feminist, finding a true balance of power). But I sincerely respect your views, and love your writing. Glad it is finding its way to a larger audience.

BettyDuffy said...

I love ya, Karly. Lately, people have been telling me that I am a feminist, but that I just don't know it yet. Who knows? Maybe we see eye to eye on more than we think we do.

Thanks everyone!

Colleen said...

I am so happy to have been introduced to you through Hallie's book. Now I am a big fan! I reviewed the book (if you're interested) here:

Sarah said...

I met you at the conference (Sarah from Indy!) and I was so pleased to meet you. I forgot to have you sign my book! Maybe you can come and hang out with my Catholic women's book club when we discuss the book in the next month or so. :)

I love this post, I love the sense of hope and peace, and the beauty of all these Catholic women together. The conference filled my soul with so much hope for my daughter's future.

God bless!